The Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, has encouraged young people to cultivate the habit of reading for the acquisition of knowledge.
The 580-page book, which was authored by Prof. Raymond Bagulo Bening, a founding Vice Chancellor of UDS, outlined the history of education in northern Ghana. The first edition of the book by the author was written in 1974.
Prof. Teye said books lived long after their authors had died, but added that it was important for the younger generation to tap into the knowledge of writers while they lived.
“If a professor dies, he dies with his knowledge, but Prof. Bening has some of his knowledge to be shared by the young ones even after he dies because he has put it into a book,” he said.
Reviewing the book, a lecturer at the English Department of the University of Ghana (UG), Professor Helen Yitah, said the book highlighted the state of education, investment in infrastructure and mental development in northern Ghana.
She observed that education in northern Ghana was not free as it had been said by some scholars, adding that the history of education in the northern territory was selective.
“The statistics of state resources towards building schools and ensuring that these schools had qualified teachers reveal deep seated structural cracks,” she said.
Prof. Yitah said Ghana in 1902, consisted of three administrative regions, the Gold Coast Colony, the Colony of Asante and the Protectorate of the Northern territory, and the British considered the Northern territory an unprofitable area when compared to Gold Coast Colony and Colony of Ashanti.
She explained that the history of colonial Ghana showed that most of the schools in the Gold Coast Colony and the Colony of Ashanti were built and administrated by missionary societies such as Basel Mission, however, the participation of Christian Missions were discouraged and actively prevented by the colonial administration.
She said the book combined the historical insight supported by meticulously recorded archival material and statistics that had the potential to promote understanding of “where the rain began to beat us” to galvanise national efforts of northern Ghana its due.
At the launch, the author, Prof. Bening, explained that researches were done from the public record archives in Ghana and United Kingdom.
He said records were also compiled from the Ministry of Education, reports of committees on education, reports from the Legislature and Parliament, meeting of councils and education department.
He, however, appealed to the government to relocate the Archive Centre, as there was limited space for research during his exposition on the second edition, describing the archive rooms as “stuffy”, adding that some documents that were available during his first edition had disappeared.
Prof. Bening thanked the staff of the UDS and the publishing house for their maximum support.
Some dignitaries present at the launch included the Namibian High Commissioner, Mr Charles B. Jacob; from United States Agency International Development (USAID), Miss Joanna Cobla; the Deputy Commissioner of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Joseph Whittal; and the Copyright Administrator, Miss Yaa Attafuah.
Source: radioxyzonline.com/with files from graphic